February 11, 2016  by Amy Campbell
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The 3 Kinds of Leads Your Sales Teams Really Want

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High Volume | High Quality | Sales-Ready

High Volume: This probably does not need an explanation. Your sales team wants more leads and as a sales organization they are looking to build volume and sales pipeline. It’s still a numbers game after all.

High Quality: 
Possibly more important than the volume of leads is the inherent quality of the leads you are generating.

  • What information or intelligence about those leads, suspects or prospects do we have available to us?
  • How reliable is the source?
  • What do we know about them that will help us build better relationship, their reasons for any initial interest, pain points they exhibit, how they buy or transact, and how our products or services can add value to their business or personal purchase?

Sales Ready: Is there a pre-determined agreed-upon signal or trigger, an even somewhat subjective condition or perception of when it’s time to turn a lead over to sales for follow-up?

Photo via Visualhunt

Photo via Visualhunt

Can You Relate?
Marketing planned and executed a campaign, leads are being generated, and immediately turned over to sales for follow up because they are considered by marketing to be new and therefore HOT? Sales reasonably expected to receive basic information such as a name, and some form of contact detail such as phone or email. From here, the sales person has the sole responsibility of educating the lead and nurturing them as long as may be required to close it. To some, manual lead management is the only way because they’ve been doing it this way since the dawn of their existence. Those engaged in this scene below don’t have any problem with it until the end of another performance quarter when “guesstimated” deals didn’t come in as forecasted, furthering the “us” and “them” dialogue and resentment between marketing and sales teams internally.

 

Here’s How The Scene Plays Out After We Miss Our Quotas:
Marketing: “We gave X-number of HOT leads to sales that they didn’t close. It’s not our fault!”
Sales: “Marketing gives us poor quality, unqualified leads and we waste our time following up on them! It’s not our fault!”

It’s Abusive
When you are focused on high volume leads but give little attention to their quality, and no attention to lead qualification, you are in effect, giving approval and support to your labor-intensive sales process which abuses both the would-be-prospects and your sales team professionals. It isn’t just that your old way is inefficient and contributes to increases in overall cost of sales and lower margins, but there are serious hidden costs for continuing to execute this old sales process via the existing method.

When sales people aren’t talking to interested, qualified leads, they are wasting valuable skills and limited company resources. Enable them to do what they do better than anyone else in the organization…take a sales opportunity through its entire life cycle.

Assuming your sales organization is a consultative-selling group, with a sales cycle that is extended several months or years, they’ve become long-suffering educators, nurturers, and, in a word: FARMERS. Planting, sowing, and hoping to reap a future reward for their patience and persistence. Your existing way of approaching sales prospecting is labor intensive, requiring resource-consuming, manual follow-up which more often than not, provides unlimited access to voicemail and email. That’s possibly the most inefficient way to handle sales qualified leads.

No doubt, it was probably a heaping dose of sheer determination and good old-fashioned hard work that got you here today. That will no longer assure you the continued growth from here to the next revenue goal.  You’ll need to work smarter now, handle leads differently, and be more strategic about how you spend your resources if your intention is to grow.

For more on this subject check out 6 Things Every Great Sales Person Loves to Do.

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